This paper presents the results of the application of an advanced thermodynamic model developed by the authors for the simulation of Organic Rankine Cycles (ORCs). The model allows ORC simulation both for steady and transient analysis. The expander, selected to be a scroll expander, is modeled in detail by decomposing the behavior of the fluid stream into several steps. The heat source is coupled with the system through a plate heat exchanger, which is modeled using an iterative sub-heat exchanger modeling approach.
The considered ORC system uses solar thermal energy for ultra-low grade heat recovery. The simulation model is used to investigate the influence of ORC characteristic parameters related to the working medium, hot reservoir and component efficiencies for the purpose of optimizing the ORC system efficiency and power output. Moreover, dynamic response of the ORC is also evaluated for two scenarios, i.e. (i) supplying electricity for a typical residential user and (ii) being driven by a hot reservoir. Finally, the simulation model is used to evaluate ORC capability to meet electric, thermal and cooling loads of a single residential building, for typical temperatures of the hot water exiting from a solar collector.